Welcome one, welcome all, to a thread for discussion of Formula One, past, present and future. (And feel free to discuss other motorsport as well, should you feel like it - any is welcome!)
Discussion of the 2019 pre-season starts on page 62, if you're joining us for the first time. And if you are, please say hi! We don't bite.
Who are the teams and drivers, and where will they be racing?
The 2019 teams and their starting line-up of drivers are:
- Alfa Romeo - Kimi Raikkonen (Finland), Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy)
- Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel (Germany), Charles Leclerc (Monaco)
- Haas - Romain Grosjean (France), Kevin Magnussen (Denmark)
- McLaren - Lando Norris (United Kingdom), Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain)
- Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom), Valtteri Bottas (Finland)
- Racing Point - Sergio Perez (Mexico), Lance Stroll (Canada)
- Red Bull - Pierre Gasly (France), Max Verstappen (Netherlands)
- Renault - Daniel Ricciardo (Australia), Nico Hulkenberg (Germany)
- Toro Rosso - Alexander Albon (Thailand), Daniil Kvyat (Russia)
- Williams - George Russell (United Kingdom), Robert Kubica (Poland)
Two teams have changed their names from last year; Sauber is now Alfa Romeo, and Force India has become Racing Point.
New drivers this year include former F3 champion Lando Norris (who insists his name has nothing to do with Star Wars) at McLaren, reigning F2 champion George Russell at Williams, and F2 driver Alexander Albon at Toro Rosso. Daniil Kvyat returns to Toro Rosso for his third stint with the team after a year as development driver for Ferrari, and Antonio Giovinazzi gains a full race seat after two years as test driver for Haas and Sauber, for whom he also competed in two races in 2017. Following successful test drives for Williams in 2018, Robert Kubica makes his welcome return to F1 for his first full season since 2010, following his near-fatal rally crash in early 2011.
Other changes this year include Kimi Raikkonen and Charles Leclerc swapping places between Ferrari and Sauber/Alfa Romeo, Carlos Sainz moving from Renault to McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo moving from Red Bull to Renault, Lance Stroll moving from Williams to Racing Point, and Pierre Gasly moving from Toro Rosso to Red Bull.
The 2019 World Championship is taking place over 21 Grand Prix races:
- Melbourne, Australia - 17 March
- Sakhir, Bahrain (night race) - 31 March
- Shanghai, China - 14 April
- Baku, Azerbaijan (street race) - 28 April
- Barcelona, Spain - 12 May
- Monte Carlo, Monaco (street race) - 26 May
- Montreal, Canada - 9 June
- Le Castellet, France - 23 June
- Spielberg, Austria - 30 June
- Silverstone, Great Britain - 14 July
- Hockenheim, Germany - 28 July
- Budapest, Hungary - 4 August
- Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium - 1 September
- Monza, Italy - 8 September
- Marina Bay, Singapore (night/street race) - 22 September
- Sochi, Russia - 29 September
- Suzuka, Japan - 13 October
- Mexico City, Mexico - 27 October
- Austin, United States - 3 November
- Interlagos, Brazil - 17 November
- Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi (evening race) - 1 December
There are no new circuits on the calendar this year, but Mexico and USA have switched places in the order.
Will there be an F1 2019 video game?
Yes, and it's awesome (as has been the way for a few years now). It offers an expanded career mode, F2 (2018 season; 2019 will be a free update), revamped multiplayer with league support and custom liveries, an expanded garage of classic cars, Senna vs Prost mode and bonuses (as DLC or included in the Legends edition), and more. It's out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Are there any good movies about F1?
Yes, and there was a flurry of brilliant ones a few years ago. All of these are essential viewing even if you only have a passing interest in F1:
(2010) is a documentary history of arguably the sport's greatest-ever driver, triple world champion Ayrton Senna, who started in F1 in 1984 and died tragically in 1994.
(2013) is a biopic of the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1970s, starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as Hunt and Lauda respectively, and culminating in their titanic battle for the 1976 world championship.
Grand Prix: The Killer Years
(2011) is a BBC documentary that tells the story of F1 in the 1960s and 70s where mechanical failure, lethal track design, fire and incompetence led to the deaths of many young drivers. Among the interviewees contributing to the film are world champions Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, and John Surtees.
And if you like older movies too, Grand Prix
(1966) is a film that follows several drivers through a fictionalised 1966 season. It stars James Garner and features some astonishing footage captured at the real races, which won it three Oscars.